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Eye movement evidence for defocused attention in dysphoria - a perceptual span analysis

Brzezicka, Aneta, Krejtz, Izabela, Von Hecker, Ulrich ORCID: and Laubrock, Jochen 2012. Eye movement evidence for defocused attention in dysphoria - a perceptual span analysis. International Journal of Psychophysiology 85 (1) , pp. 129-133. 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2011.09.022

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The defocused attention hypothesis (von Hecker and Meiser, 2005) assumes that negative mood broadens attention, whereas the analytical rumination hypothesis (Andrews and Thompson, 2009) suggests a narrowing of the attentional focus with depression. We tested these conflicting hypotheses by directly measuring the perceptual span in groups of dysphoric and control subjects, using eye tracking. In the moving window paradigm, information outside of a variable-width gaze-contingent window was masked during reading of sentences. In measures of sentence reading time and mean fixation duration, dysphoric subjects were more pronouncedly affected than controls by a reduced window size. This difference supports the defocused attention hypothesis and seems hard to reconcile with a narrowing of attentional focus.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dysphoria; Defocused attention; Eye tracking; Moving window paradigm; Perceptual span
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0167-8760
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 09:00

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